March 17, 2008
SCOTUS getting busy (though I doubt summer vacations are at risk)
Over at SCOTUSblog, Jason Harrow has this new post spotlighting that the Justices appear to be on pace for taking more cases next Term than in recent years. Here are snippets:
[T]he rate that the Court is granting cases [is] far higher in 2008 than it’s been in recent memory. Consider that since returning from Winter Recess on January 4, the Court has granted 31 cases in the first two-and-half-months of the year. If the Court continued on this pace — admittedly, this is perhaps an unrealistic assumption — they would hear roughly 150 cases next Term. That number is not unprecedented, as the modern record for oral arguments was set in the 1983 Term, when the Court heard 159 cases according to Oyez.org. But since then, the total cases heard each term has steadily declined, reaching the nadir with this term’s 70 arguments, a decline of more than 50% in 25 years. Given that trend, an immediate jump back to hearing 150 cases in a single term would be a stunning turnaround (and that’s an understatement). Yet that is precisely what the Court is now on pace to do....
It’s too soon to tell if this is a long-term trend or whether the grant rate will slow down once again for any number of reasons. For now, however, it appears that Court-watchers can look forward to an unusually full docket next Term.
Regular readers know that I have often critized the Court's recent docket dynamics. The apparent increase in grants — especially when it includes Blakely cases like today's grant in Ice — is pleasing to see. And, notwithstanding the extra work the Justices are giving themselves, I have a feeling that they will still be able to enjoy their summers off with the globe-trotting they often have done in the past.
Some related SCOTUS posts:
March 17, 2008 at 04:38 PM | Permalink
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The Justices' summer vacations are never at risk. They get to leave Washington and go to Austria. Those of us who brief the cases get to work during the summer. But we don't have to live in Washington, an awful place to be in August, so it's okay.
Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Mar 17, 2008 6:55:51 PM